“The true freedom that sociology offers is to give us a small chance of knowing what game we play and of minimizing the ways in which we are manipulated by the forces of the field in which we evolved, as well as by the embodied social forces that operate from within us”
~ Pierre Bourdieu & Loïc Wacquant ~
My courses are designed to help students develop an understanding of how they simultaneously shape and are shaped by the social world in which they live. Through the adoption of a historical, social constructionist frame, I provide students with empirical evidence to critically assess normative social structures. I also adopt a dialectical approach when teaching sociology. Like C. Wright Mills (1959), I emphasize that “neither the life of an individual nor the history of society can be understood without understanding them both.” My aim is for students to understand how unequal social structures shape the life experiences and worldviews of individuals and groups and where possible, to also examine how individuals and groups resist these social structures and promote change.
Sociology of Race
This course investigates what race and racism are, how conceptions of both have changed over time and how resources and opportunities are unequally distributed along racial lines.
Class, Power and Inequality
This course examines research and theory in the area of class inequality. Over the course of the semester, we explore theories of social class, learn abouthow and why class inequality has increased over time and examine how these changes affect social mobility.
Social and Cultural Inquiry
Both anthropology and sociology offer theories and research findings that help systematically describe and explain social interaction, inequality, power and more. In this course, we examine the works of a number of theorists whose scholarship is foundational to the development of anthropological and sociological thought.
The Individual and Contemporary Society
This course critically assesses power dynamics in the western world post-WWII. Readings privilege the perspectives of subaltern scholars–i.e. those who occupy a subordinate status as a result of their sustained social, political and economic exclusion from contemporary western society.